NMDA receptor blockade in rodents is commonly used to induce schizophrenia-like behavioral abnormalities, including cognitive deficits and social dysfunction. Aberrant glutamate and GABA transmission, particularly in adolescence, is implicated in these behavioral abnormalities. The endocannabinoid system modulates glutamate and GABA transmission, but the impact of endocannabinoid modulation on cognitive and social dysfunction is unclear. Here, we asked whether late-adolescence administration of the anandamide hydrolysis inhibitor URB597 can reverse behavioral deficits induced by early-adolescence administration of the NMDA receptor blocker MK-801. In parallel, we assessed the impact of MK-801 and URB597 on mRNA expression of glutamate and GABA markers. We found that URB597 prevented MK-801-induced novel object recognition deficits and social interaction abnormalities in adult rats, and reversed glutamate and GABA aberrations in the prelimbic PFC. URB597-mediated reversal of MK-801-induced social interaction deficits was mediated by the CB1 receptor, whereas the reversal of cognitive deficits was mediated by the CB2 receptor. This was paralleled by the reversal of CB1 and CB2 receptor expression abnormalities in the basolateral amygdala and prelimbic PFC, respectively. Together, our findings show that interfering with NMDA receptor function in early adolescence has a lasting impact on phenotypes resembling the negative symptoms and cognitive deficits of schizophrenia and on glutamate and GABA marker expression in the PFC. Prevention of behavioral and molecular abnormalities by late-adolescence URB597 via CB1 and CB2 receptors suggests that endocannabinoid stimulation may have therapeutic potential in addressing treatment-resistant symptoms.
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- animal model
- NMDA receptor
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health